Filing, Serving, and Answering Custody and Divorce Complaints

My husband and I fulfill the separation requirements and I am filling out a Do-it-Yourself Divorce packet from NC Legal Aid. We have 2 minor (8 &11) children who have been my sole responsibility since June, 2015. My husband and I have no marital assets, no property, etc. I have been in NC since November 2015 and my husband lives in Georgia. He agrees that I should have custody of the children and will not contest the divorce. I have completed the paperwork for Complaint for Custody as well as the Complaint for Absolute Divorce and have a few questions:

#1) Can I file with the court and serve the defendant with both complaints at the same time?
#2) If my husband has been served all the proper complaints and hearing notices and he does not respond to any of them will he be in contempt? Will I be granted custody and absolute divorce after his 30 day response time has lapsed?

You can combine all actions into one complaint and serve that one complaint on the defendant. If you have determined that you need to ask the Court for custody and absolute divorce, then you can include both in one complaint (one document).

Your husband will not be in contempt if he is properly served but does not file an answer to your complaint. If 30 days have passed since he was served with the complaint (33 days if served by certified/registered mail), then you can follow your county’s procedure for scheduling a court dates. If he still does not show up at the court dates, despite proper notice, then a judge is likely to grant all of your requests.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh

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The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Thank you for your reply.